Traditionally the problem of predicting the behavior of loudspeaker arrays has been approached by making simplifying assumptions about the individual array elements. Assuming omnidirectional or piston behavior, or simplifying or disregarding phase response can lead at best to good approximation of actual array behavior, and at worst to serious error. A new graphics-based array simulation program has been developed which allows four traditional techniques as well as a new hybrid technique to be used in predicting the behavior of three test arrays is presented. Results show that the hybrid technique, based on measurements of an array element's magnitude and phase response, is the most accurate predictor. A second technique, based on assumed phase response, is shown to be accurate in cases where the element's acoustic design is fixed. Three other traditional prediction techniques are shown to have significant limitations which can lead to serious errors.
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